Class Notes is Pratt alumni news on work and life compiled from alumni submissions, items shared by faculty and staff, and media mentions. Read on for the Spring 2024 issue’s dispatches.

Submit your notes for Fall 2024 now—here are our submission guidelines:

Pratt alumni, we want to know what you’re up to, and so do your fellow graduates. Send your updates on work and life to Notes may be up to 100 words in length. Please include your full name, degree or program, and graduation year. Submissions will be edited for length, clarity, and style. Image submissions should be high resolution (300 dpi at 5 x 7 inches).

Group Highlights

Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic, BFA Communications Design ’04, and Maria de Los Angeles, BFA Fine Arts ’13, were highlighted by Harpers Bazaar as Latinx artists reshaping New York City’s art scene. The feature included reflections from the artists on their relationships to art, representation, and community. Recent career milestones mentioned include the purchase of de Los Angeles’s Citizen Dress by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas for its permanent collection, and the addition of Mestrovic’s artwork to the Samsung Art Store, a digital art application for Samsung devices. (Harpers Bazaar)

Loren Daye, MID ’06, and William (Billy) Cotton, BID ’07, were interviewed for The New York Times Style Magazine about the onscreen apartments that inspired them to move to the city and informed their aesthetics as interior designers. Cotton, a multidisciplinary designer who serves as the creative director of Billy Cotton Studio, cited the apartment featured in the film Interiors (1978) as an inspiration. Daye, who works as a hospitality designer, described the influence the apartment from Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It (1986) had on her. “A year after I saw the movie, I arrived in New York,” shared Daye. “In 2003, I finally found a place in Fort Greene and I’m still here.” (The New York Times Style Magazine

Five pink-toned figures sitting in an interior with arches and black-and-white tiled floors blending into the colors of their surroundings .
Lizzy Lunday ’19, Various Sirens, 2023, oil and acrylic on canvas, 64 x 80 inches; image courtesy of Fredericks & Freiser, New York

Anthony Cudahy, BFA Fine Arts ’11, and Lizzy Lunday, MFA Fine Arts (Painting and Drawing) ’19, were spotlighted in NYLON’s 10 Painters to Watch feature in the magazine’s 2023 Art Issue. Lunday’s solo show Head in the Clouds was on view at Fredericks & Freiser last fall, receiving a nod from New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix, and Cudahy’s exhibition Anthony Cudahy: Spinneret, the artist’s first US solo show, is up at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art from April 12 to July 21. Visiting Instructor of Foundation Vanessa Gully Santiago was also included in the roundup of rising “talented and thrilling artists . . . pushing the boundaries in the ever-evolving medium of painting.” (NYLON)

Theresa Chromati, BFA Communications Design (Graphic Design) ’14; Emma Stern, BFA Fine Arts (Painting) ’14; and Isabelle Brourman, MFA Fine Arts (Painting and Drawing) ’19, were named three of Cultured’s up-and-coming names to watch, in the magazine’s 2023 Young Artists List. The eighth annual iteration of the list featured 27 artists, all of whom are under the age of 35. Cultured called the artists a “testament to the resourcefulness and optimism required to choose not only the work, but also the life of an artist.” (Cultured)

Karen Li-Lun Hwang, MSLIS ’16; Ava Kaplan, MSLIS ’23; and Jessika Davis, MSMDC ’23, members of the School of Information’s Semantic Lab, gave a presentation, “Semantic Lab Projects on Wikibase,” at Wikidata Day 2023 at Butler Library at Columbia University in October. Alex Provo, MSLIS ’15, visiting assistant professor in Pratt’s School of Information, gave a lightning talk on SPARQL workshops at NYU Libraries, part of her research work on linked data pedagogy. (School of Information newsletter)


John F. Gould, General Art ’26, (1906-1996), well known for his work in The Saturday Evening Post and for national corporations such as General Electric Company, had original artwork exhibited for the first time in New York City at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators. The show spanned part of Gould’s 70-year career from 1929, the year he was hired to teach art at Pratt Institute, where he continued to work for 22 years, through 1970. The show ran from August 2 to September 30, 2023, and highlighted the artist’s use of color, composition, and contrast.


Joan D’Onofrio, BFA Fine Arts ’60, is “currently 85 years old and still going strong.” For the last eight years, she published a 15-page newsletter every week for Rotary International, a Rotary Club she is a member of. Through this organization, she has received a grant to fund her Art in a Box program, in which she and a team of Rotarians send a 9 x 12 box filled with art supplies to more than 500 unhoused students throughout the Mt. Diablo Unified School District in California.

Illustration of a dancing nude figure with pink ballet slippers balancing atop an arch framed by outlined geometric forms
Barbara Nessim ’60, Dancing Within Two Sculptures, 1969, pen and ink and watercolor on paper, 14 x 10.25 inches

Barbara Nessim, BFA Graphic Art and Illustration ’60, had a solo exhibition of works on paper, Balancing Act: Drawings 1969-1974, at Derek Eller Gallery. In a press release, the gallery described Nessim’s portraits as “depictions of enigmatic female archetypes which reflected the zeitgeist of a pivotal moment in women’s history,” saying, “it is entirely plausible to recognize Nessim’s women from 1969-74 as harbingers for a new era in gender equality.” (artist’s newsletter)

Malcolm Holzman, BArch ’63, received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the South at the school’s annual Advent Convocation ceremony. He was recognized by the university’s 18th vice chancellor, faculty, and board of regents as “one of our nation’s leading architects and one who has made an indelible mark on the architectural landscape of Sewanee.” McClurg Hall, which he designed, opened in 2000 and is a gathering space where the university’s students, faculty, and staff regularly dine. Holzman is a partner at Steinberg Hart. 

Low building with undulating facade and roof
Everardo Jefferson ’68, The Louis Armstrong Center. Courtesy of Caples Jefferson Architects

Everardo Jefferson, BID ’68, and his award-winning architecture firm Caples Jefferson, cofounded by Sara Caples, designed the newly opened Louis Armstrong Center in Corona, Queens. The 14,000-square-foot building houses the Louis Armstrong Archive, a 75-seat performance venue, and an art exhibition, Here to Stay, which explores Louis Armstrong’s life and more-than-five-decade-long career. 

Claire Jeanine Satin, MFA Fine Arts (Sculpture) ’68, was featured in the two-part exhibition Women’s Voices, which was on view at the Miami-Dade Public Library System through March. The respective exhibition parts, “A Journey through Miami’s Art History” and “New Perspectives in the Archives,” celebrated artists who defined the women’s art movement from the 1970s to the 2000s and the legacies of Women Artist Archives Miami (WAAM) contributors. Additionally, Satin was featured in Books on Books, a website on book art curated by collector and publisher Robert Bolick. The post explores selections from Satin’s work featured in Bolick’s collection.

William J. Gallo, AIA, BArch ’69, was recently appointed to the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) for the Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine. The ELC comprises an esteemed group of community leaders who support the mission of the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (NSU MD), advise the dean on pertinent issues, and serve as ambassadors for the college.


Diptych with a comic strip overlay in the middle of the two panels depicting detailed monochrome portrait of violinist on the right; on the left, Mickey Mouse playing violin encircled by floating music notes
Michela Griffo ’70, Virtuoso on the Titanic, 2010, oil, pencil, and ink on canvas, 44 x 58 inches

Michela Griffo, MFA Fine Arts ’70, was invited by Joshua Bell, Grammy Award-winning violinist and the subject of Griffo’s painting Virtuoso on The Titanic, to a recent concert. “It was certainly a night to remember,” Griffo writes. “I felt like Cinderella.”

Blue desk with assorted vases and trinkets inside a cool-toned room
Douglas R. Giebel ’71, Studio Still Life, oil on canvas, 32 x 36 inches

Douglas R. Giebel, BFA Fine Arts ’71, recently had his painting Studio Still Life purchased for the permanent collection of Concordia University in Irvine, California. He currently teaches drawing, painting, and art history classes at Wesleyan College, having been awarded emeritus status in 2016. 

Three book covers with various objects arranged on each, including violins, corn, and feathers.
James A. Humphrey ’72, covers of The Cherokee Trilogy

James A. Humphrey, BFA Media Studies ’72, published three historical novels in 2023: Cherokee Rock, Cherokee Rose, and Cherokee Reel. Humphrey, a Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma citizen, refers to this triptych as the Cherokee Trilogy. These books follow an extended family’s struggles through Cherokee history from 1779 through post-Civil War Reconstruction, spanning historical battles, confrontations with identity molding demigods, and trials that set national precedents for Indigenous rights.

A blue drawer in front of a white wall.
George Ranalli ’72, Blue Festa Credenza

George Ranalli, BArch ’72, an architect who worked in interior architecture as well as furniture and object design concepts throughout his more than 40-year career, recently announced representation by Todd Merrill Studio. This gallery partnership marks the first time that Ranalli’s original furniture design work, including limited edition, handcrafted tables, chairs, and case pieces, will be available for public purchase. 

Conch shell and a folded piece of paper with a small anchor illustrated in the bottom right-hand corner, both hanging on strings taped against a wall with bluish paint strokes.
Lisa Lyman Adams ’73, The Invitation, acrylic on wood canvas, 20 x 16 inches

Lisa Lyman Adams, BFA Fine Arts ’73, based in Mystic, Connecticut, had an acrylic painting, The Invitation, included in the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) juried show. The show’s theme was “emergence,” and it was on view from November 4 through December 9, 2023, in CAFA’s virtual gallery. Adams’s piece now hangs at Stonington Gallery in the Velvet Mill in Stonington, Connecticut. She continues to practice fine art and illustration, and currently teaches basic drawing and creative thinking at Mystic Museum of Art in Mystic, Connecticut, and South County Art Association in Kingston, Rhode Island. Her website is

Philomena Marano, BFA Fine Arts ’74, was featured on FOX 13 Tampa Bay and ABC7 Sarasota, discussing her unique art practice, which includes assembling hand-cut colored paper. After moving to Sarasota, Florida, Marano shifted her artistic focus away from depicting scenes of Coney Island toward circus thrill shows. She recently became a member of Arts Advocates, an organization aiming to preserve the work of Florida artists. She will be exhibiting a solo show in their gallery in August 2024.

Kay WalkingStick ’75, Niagara, 2022, oil on panel in two parts, 40 x 80 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Hales, London and New York. Photo by JSP Art Photography

HIGHLIGHT: Kay WalkingStick

Kay WalkingStick, MFA Fine Arts ’75, was highlighted in the exhibition Kay WalkingStick/Hudson River School at the New-York Historical Society. Placed in conversation with the Society’s collection of 19th-century Hudson River School paintings, WalkingStick’s landscapes are the first ever acquired by the institution. Filling three rooms at the Historical Society, highlights of the exhibition’s more than 40 works included recent paintings by WalkingStick, including Niagara and Aquidneck After the Storm, early nature-inspired painted sculptural abstractions, and two pieces directly inspired by Hudson River School artists. The New York Times covered the exhibition, which was on view until early April 2024, in a profile on the artist and the evolution of her work. Kathleen Ash-Milby, a curator interviewed for the profile who co-organized a retrospective of WalkingStick’s work, noted that “Kay is really an icon in the field and recognized as someone important among Native American contemporary artists since the ’80s.” The 2016 Pratt Commencement keynote speaker and the recipient of an honorary degree from Pratt, WalkingStick was also recently honored at Pratt’s Legends 2023. Her work, spanning a career of more than six decades, has been acquired by over a dozen museum collections, including MoMA, the National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney.

C Bangs, MFA Fine Arts ’75, exhibited her paintings with holographic panels, sculptures with retro reflective panels, and holograms at the Intrepid Museum in New York City. The exhibition,  Postcards from Earth: Holograms on an Interstellar Journey, included work by Cornell University’s Aerospace Engineering Space Systems Design Group. Bangs’s holograms represent a projected space mission expected to launch in 2024 through Cornell University, Alpha CubeSat, a solar-powered satellite aiming to reduce the costs of space travel. 

Person with gray hair and red lipstick wearing a yellow and red shirt with a eyeball-patterned scarf holding a phone and roll of stickers which say “Dada in the House: 20+ Years of Performance Art”
Mary Campbell ’78

Mary Campbell, BFA Communications Design ’78, curated Dada in the House: 20 years of Performance Art on Staten Island at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island. The exhibition, which was on view from October 14 to December 31, showcased the history of the Day de Dada Performance Art Collective, a performance ensemble that Campbell has served as codirector of since 2002. The show includes props, costumes, and videos of performances by the collective.

Monochrome portrait of person wearing shorts and cardigan in the foreground standing on a sidewalk with a house and a car in the background against a dark sky
Mary Ann Michna ’78, Mary Ann in Hegewisch, 2022, 24 x 36 inches

Mary Ann Michna, MFA Fine Arts (Painting) ’78, has been working on a series of black-and-white acrylic paintings inspired by found vintage black-and-white snapshot photographs. In the past two years, four of her paintings from this series have been exhibited in biennial shows at the Cedarhurst Art Center, the Sheldon Swope Art Museum, and the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center. She currently works from her studio in New Harmony, Indiana.

Sculpture featuring silver forms enclosing a spiral stands outdoors amongst trees, a wooden walkway, and a building in the background
Meryl Taradash ’78, Moving Forward

Meryl Taradash, MFA Fine Arts (Painting) ’78, created an eight-foot-high stainless steel sculpture with kinetic aluminum forms that has been permanently installed in the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation’s new arboretum, the LaCross Botanical Garden. The sculpture was installed with assistance from Harry Gordon, a former professor of metalwork at Pratt whose work is featured in the Pratt Institute Sculpture Park. 

Mary Rieser Heintjes, BFA Fine Arts ’79; MFA Fine Arts ’85, displayed her sculptures as part of a group show last August at Carter Burden Gallery. The exhibition, Nowhere, Now Here, also included the work of the artists Darla Bjork and Robert Petrick, connecting the three artists by their use of abstraction and color. Heintjes’s sculptures utilized oxyacetylene welding, incorporating reflections on science and nature.


Laura J. Padgett, BFA Fine Arts (Painting) ’80, recently had her work exhibited in the solo show Regenerating Permanence, which featured a photo-artistic series on the architecture of Frankfurt’s Westend Synagogue. The show opened on November 2, 2023, at the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt, and included an artist talk with Padgett, who lives in Frankfurt. The show marks the occasion of Jewish Community of Frankfurt’s reestablishment 75 years ago, and takes place as part of  Frankfurt’s Jewish Cultural Weeks celebration.

Greer Lankton ’81, from Sketchbook, September 1977. Courtesy of Primary Information

HIGHLIGHT: Greer Lankton

The 1977 journal of Greer Lankton, BFA Fine Arts ’81, was published by Primary Information. It is one of the earliest of Lankton’s sketchbooks from the artist’s archives housed in MoMA’s Department of Film collection. Composed of drawings, behavioral diagrams, and occasionally confessional writing, Sketchbook, September 1977 offers insight into the period leading up to her medical gender transition in 1979 and what would become a prolific career in dollmaking, photography, illustration, and painting. With an afterword by lifelong friend Joyce Randall Senechal, these pages record then 19-year-old Lankton’s musings as she reflected on “critical questions of self-image, social perception, gender normativity, and human behavior.” Following her move to New York, Lankton became prominent in the East Village art scene, presenting her work in shows like New York/New Wave at MoMA PS1, Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing at Artists Space, and the 1995 Whitney Biennial and Venice Biennale. Lankton’s final work, It’s all about ME, Not You, completed prior to her passing in November 1996, is on permanent display at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory. The remainder of her journals, both the original copies and the transcriptions created by Joyce Randall Senechal, remain housed at MoMA.

Jill Withrow Baker, MFA Fine Arts (Painting) ’81, studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy, in 1975. She took graduate courses at Columbia in New York and at Florida State University in Tallahassee under Karl Zerbe. She taught at several universities, lastly at the University of Southern Indiana. After having exhibited worldwide at venues such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, and the US Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, she has shown in most major cities in the US. She has settled in Louisville and enjoys a life of private teaching, writing, painting, and traveling with the poet Lee Pennington.

Matt Magee, MFA Fine Arts (New Forms) ’83, had new and recent works on display in his new solo exhibition, Cutouts and Cut-offs. The show featured Magee’s interpretations of found materials into geometric sculptures, collages, and paintings, running from November 11 to February 17 at The Mission Projects, a residential exhibition space in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Bill Stamats, BFA Fine Arts ’83, founded Stamats Art Appraisals, a new business, in 2023. As a member of the International Society of Appraisers, Stamats conducts appraisals for a broad range of personal property while specializing in valuing fine art paintings, prints, and sculptures. Most appraisals are for charitable contributions, insurance coverage and claims, and equitable distribution. All of Stamats’s appraisals conform to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, IRS guidelines, and the International Society of Appraisers report-writing protocols. Stamats Art Appraisals serves the legal community, banks and financial institutions, insurance companies, and individuals.

Two stacked copies of a book with the text “Sketch and Learn: Includes helpful tips on creativity, business, how-to and general things to know” on a pink backdrop overlaid to the left with a photo of the author smiling in a blue suit and glasses
Andrew Bass Jr. ’85 with Sketch & Learn, photo courtesy of the author

Andrew Bass Jr., BFA Communications Design ’85, self-published Sketch & Learn, a dot-grid sketchbook, in the summer of 2023. The publication contains 20 insightful tips about being a graphic designer or creative—on fueling creativity, navigating the business side of creation, general how-tos, and basic information to know from a seasoned designer about thinking through ideas. More information about the book and Bass’s work can be found at or on Instagram (@andrewbassdesign).

Book cover of illustrated frontal view of Metropolitan Museum of Art scattered with pedestrians, offset with red binding; text (top) reads “Footnotes from the Most Fascinating Museums,” with subtext (bottom left) “Stories and Memorable Moments from People Who Love Museums” next to “Bob Eckstein” (bottom right)
Bob Eckstein ’85, cover of Footnotes from the Most Fascinating Museums: Stories and Memorable Moments from People Who Love Museums

Bob Eckstein, BFA Communications Design ’85, will be releasing his new book, Footnotes from the Most Fascinating Museums: Stories and Memorable Moments from People Who Love Museums (Chronicle Books), in May 2024. Eckstein, a cartoonist for The New Yorker, explores museums by painting and writing about their curators, visitors, and more. Steve Martin, Max Hollein, Sir Michael Palin, and David Plotz are among those who have blurbed the book. 

Steve Gimson, BFA Communications Design (Advertising/Art Direction) ’86, is currently living in North Central Pennsylvania, and would love to hear from any members of his graduating class who might be interested in socializing by email or phone. During his time as a student, Gimson  lived on the 11th floor of Willoughby Hall. He encourages people to reach out to him via email at

Andrew Reach, BArch ’86, had artwork featured in two exhibitions between November and December 2023. He was included in Tangents, an exhibition of nine abstract and geometric artists from Northeast Ohio at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve in Cleveland; and the Ohio Arts Council 2023 Juried Biennial Exhibition at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus. At both exhibitions, Reach showed his work 3D Derivatives, connecting his architectural background with his digital media art practice. In this process, the artist creates 3D structures, isolates compelling views, and renders them as prints on acrylic mounted to composite aluminum and cut out to their geometric shapes.

Black-and-white NARS product shot with rippling chrome backdrop; above is a black rectangular header with the text “Graphis 378” and the subheadings “Graphic Design,” “Advertising,” “Photography,” “Art/Illustration,” “Products,” “Architecture,” “Education”
Robert Talarczyk ’86, cover of Graphis Journal Magazine 378

Robert Talarczyk, MS Communications Design ’86, was prominently featured in the 378th issue of Graphis Journal, in a 20-page story covering his professional design career. The piece covers the scope of his creative career, from his time as the art director for Bozell and Jacobs to his current tenure as the founder, CEO, and executive creative director of Darkhorse Design.

Aerial view of sprawling neutral-colored building surrounded by green trees and grass
Anthony Iovino ’88, Harrisburg Production Engineering Center, photo courtesy of Iovino

Anthony Iovino, AIA, BArch ’88, is a founding partner in Arcari + Iovino Architects. The firm recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Its Japan Solderless Technology (JST) Harrisburg Production Engineering Center project was published in AIA’s Architect magazine and received AIA-NJ and AIA Tri-State design awards. The project was developed and documented in conjunction with design architect Ryuchi Ashizawa Architects located in Osaka, Japan, where the JST home office is located.


Janet Birckhead, MSLIS ’90, adult services librarian of 31 years at New Jersey’s Long Branch Free Public Library, was honored, alongside Library Director Tonya Garcia, with a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. First Lady Jill Biden presented the award to Long Branch Free Public Library, one of four winners nationwide, on July 17. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities. 

Charles Prettyman, BArch ’92, was recently named president of the New York Architects Regatta Foundation. The foundation annually hosts the New York Architects’ Regatta Challenge, a fundraiser in which a boat race is held during the early fall season. The foundation’s website describes how the challenge “enables New York Architecture and Design practitioners to support the efforts of charitable enterprises focused on providing waterfront access and educational experiences to a wider audience of various socioeconomic backgrounds.”

Peter Wachtel, MID ’92, was featured on the podcast Fueling Creativity in Education, where he discussed his journey into product design and his approach to fostering curiosity and exploration in education. With a diverse background in the toy and entertainment industry, he currently teaches at Adolfo Camarillo High School in California. 

The artist in blue-rimmed glasses and a red shirt wiping an art piece made from white and black buttons with a blue cloth
Artist Jean Shin ’94; ’96 supervises the installation of her work Water’s Echo at the Performing Arts Center, August 23rd 2023.

Jean Shin, BFA Fine Arts ’94; MS ’96, Adjunct Professor (CCE) of Fine Arts, was commissioned to create a permanent work for the lobby of the newly opened Perelman Performing Arts Center, located on the World Trade Center site. Her piece, Water’s Echo, is a reimagining of the New York waterways made from thousands of hand-sewn mother-of-pearl shell buttons. By installing this public work at PAC NYC, the artist notes that she is “returning the beautiful remains of endangered and threatened species to a shoreline where marine life once thrived.”

Bernard “Bernie” Langs, MSLIS ’95, is editing his first documentary film on the life and art of 87-year-old printmaker and painter Ann Chernow, “Queen of Noir.” The 25-minute film includes interviews with Ann Chernow as well as award-winning biographer Ron Chernow and film and stage actor Keir Dullea (2001: A Space Oddity) and his wife, actress Mia Dillon (A Christmas Carol). The film was screened in November 2023 in the tristate area at libraries and other free venues. Langs is also filming a one-hour movie in Manhattan with a cast of vocalists and dancers performing his original rock opera Trilogy, which is based on his own stories and those of James Joyce and Ovid. He would like to encourage any potential collaborators to be in touch with him via email:

Mural detail of collaged torn news clippings, photos of prisons, and snapshots of people adhered to crumpled plastic
Cesar Santalo ’95, detail of Patria y vida, the Power of Music-73 Portrait of Yotuel

Cesar Santalo, BFA Fine Arts (Drawing) ’95, chair of the Pratt Miami alumni network, attended the Latin Grammys in Sevilla, Spain. He created a mural for the documentary Patria Y Vida: the Power of Music that was featured prominently throughout the film. The documentary was nominated for Best Video Long Version, a new category at the Latin Grammys. Regarding his mural, which is on display at Florida International University in the College of Law, Santalo notes that he owes his “collage technique to my years at Pratt, where I started my first painting in this style.” In December 2023, Santalo debuted a new collage mural in front of PAMM, the ​​Pérez Art Museum Miami, during Art Basel Miami Beach.

Derrick Adams ’96, America’s Playground: DC, for Beyond Granite: Pulling Together. Rendering by Monument Lab

HIGHLIGHT: Derrick Adams

Pratt Trustee Derrick Adams, BFA Art and Design Education ’96, designed an installation displayed on the National Mall as part of Beyond Granite: Pulling Together. His work America’s Playground: DC features a monumental, fully-operational playground right in the District’s Constitution Gardens-East. Notably, the playground includes an illustration based on an archival photograph from the DC Public Library that was taken just days after the 1954 Supreme Court ruling Bolling v. Sharpe declared the segregation of DC’s schools and playgrounds unconstitutional. While Adams notes that play in this space is paramount, America’s Playground: DC reflects the story of desegregation, ultimately “[transforming] the playground into a site of contemplation [and] remembrance.” With work spanning the mediums of painting, collage, sculpture, performance, video, and sound, Adams is a recipient of the Rauschenberg Foundation Residency and Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship. His work has been featured at MoMA PS1, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Art and Design, as well as in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. (

Heidi Neilson, MFA Fine Arts (Painting) ’97, was recognized with a 2023 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Digital/Electronic Arts. A board member of Wave Farm and a teacher at Parsons, Neilson has also been awarded artist residencies at the NYC Urban Field Station, SPACES, Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, and elsewhere.


Valeen Bhat, BFA Art and Design Education ’04; MS Art and Design Education ’05, just celebrated the eighth anniversary of her brick-and-mortar art studio in Park Slope. She shared that she is “excited for this milestone, especially through COVID, and looking forward to the next eight years.”

Screenshot of the Ampersand Type Foundry site which features four fonts with the following subtitles: “Motorix: a typeface of alternatives,” “String Theory: stringy madness,” “Ranchstyle: contemporary cowboy,” and “SFORZA: Milanese inspired”
Monica Maccaux ’04, typefaces by Ampersand Type

Monica Maccaux, BFA Communications Design ’04, launched the type foundry Ampersand Type, with recent releases including String Theory and Sforza. “Having my own type foundry has been a goal since grad school (class of 2013) and was finally realized this fall,” Maccaux writes. The foundry website is

Book with yellow binding and a cover depicting the back of a chair with a streak of pink spray paint sitting atop a pile of clear plastic wrap labeled with the text ‘GUVS’
Hye Ju Park ’04, 뉴욕에서 빈티지 마켓을 시작했습니다 (I Opened a Vintage Furniture Market in New York), photo courtesy of the author

Hye Ju Park, MS Interior Design ’04, was a designer at the New York-based architectural firm Perkins and Will before leaving to start her own design furniture company, GU Vintage Shop (GUVS). In 2020, she designed and constructed the GUVS building in Heyri Art Village, South Korea, along with fellow Pratt graduate Kyungmin Kim, MS Interior Design ’04. Park recently published an essay book on her love of vintage furniture, 뉴욕에서 빈티지 마켓을 시작했습니다 (I Opened a Vintage Furniture Market in New York). She also runs the Contemporary Furniture Design Competition, an event hosted by GUVS now in its third year, promoting contemporary designers working in South Korea.

Neutral-toned furniture pieces in an softly lit interior space with hardwood floors.
Brad Ascalon ’05, sofa, bench, and tables from the Kithara collection by David Edward, designed by Ascalon’s studio (

Brad Ascalon, MID ’05, had his Kithara lounge collection for Kimball International/David Edward nominated for an Interior Design Best of Year award. Nominated within the category of contract seating, Kithara includes lounge seating and coordinating occasional tables, benches, and ottomans that emphasize enduring aesthetics and craftsmanship. Ascalon also worked with Kimball International on their documentary series Alternative Conversations, featuring influential makers, designers, and innovators. The series premiered on Sandow Media’s DesignTV in November 2023. (designer’s newsletter)

Laurel Dewitt, BFA Fashion Design ’05, had her designs worn by the rapper Lil’ Kim on the cover of Ebony Magazine. Lil’ Kim was styled with Dewitt’s crown and handpieces for the publication’s Fall 2023 50 Years of Hip-Hop commemorative print edition. (@laureldewitt)

Jonathan Gibson, MFA Fine Arts (Painting) ’06, launched the project LivingHistory.AI, which creates custom immersive history experiences that enable users to meet historical figures and ancestors, have lifelike conversations with them, and explore their world and artifacts. Visit LivingHistory.AI to learn more about the project. 

Felene Cayetano, MSLIS ’07, was a featured poet within BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival in September 2023, in Leeds. Along with a lineup of local (UK) and international poets, Cayetano read poems about Belizean identity, Garifuna culture, place, love, and nature in three festival events. She is the first Belizean poet to be invited to the festival since it started in 2017. 

Nick Higgins, MSLIS ’08, chief librarian at Brooklyn Public Library, was featured in TIME’s 100 Next List for his work around the library’s Books Unbanned program. In light of rising book-ban challenges and the removal of titles from library shelves across the country, the program allows for young people to browse its digital collections, regardless of where they live in the US, for free. (TIME


Donni Davy, BFA Photography ’10, was interviewed by The Cut about her favorite products, skincare routines, and takes on all things beauty. The creator of makeup looks for the HBO series Euphoria, Davy talked about how receiving her BFA in photography from Pratt propelled her into her career as a film and TV makeup artist—“the perfect mélange of all of her passions.” (The Cut

Daniel Lopatin, MSLIS ’10, also known as Oneohtrix Point Never, was profiled in The New Yorker on the occasion of his 10th studio album, Again, released in September 2023. The story explored his frequent collaborations with The Weeknd and Josh and Benny Safdie, and covered his time in the library science program at Pratt. In the piece, Lopatin shared that his “plan was to become a librarian and do music at the same time. I thought that would be a perfect life.” (The New Yorker)

Polly Shindler, MFA Fine Arts (Painting) ’11, had her first solo booth at New Art Dealers Association (NADA) Art Fair in Miami with Deanna Evans Projects NYC, showing her latest paintings. The artist also attended a monthlong residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York, in February, and recently published her first coloring book, Owen’s Big Day at Troutbeck. (artist’s newsletter) 

Orange gradient book cover featuring a nest and yellow bird overlaid with the text “Feminist Bird Club, ‘Birding For A Better World: A Guide to Finding Joy and Community in Nature’ by Molly Adams and Sydney Golden Anderson”
Molly Adams ’12, cover of Birding for a Better World

Molly Adams, BFA Critical and Visual Students ’12, recently released the book Birding for a Better World, coauthored with Sydney Golden Anderson. The book was published by the Feminist Bird Club, a collective Adams founded that aims to unite people’s “passion for birds and their passion for social justice into a cohesive whole.” The book was featured in Associated Press’s gift guide for the best coffee table reads of 2023, which described it as a “helpful primer on birding for all.” (Associated Press) 

A group crowding around a table full of ice cream, toppings, and wine, serving themselves.
Photo by Chris Bernabeo ’13, from Sweet Enough: A Dessert Cookbook. Courtesy of the artist

Chris Bernabeo, BFA Film ’13, photographed the cookbook Sweet Enough by chef-author Alison Roman, which debuted at number three on the New York Times bestseller list following its release in March 2023. After a decade of shooting primarily portrait and fashion photography that has been featured in both Italian and American Vogue, Interview Magazine, Vanity Fair, and The Cut, he writes that this was his first foray into the food world.

Ruth Mora, MFA Fine Arts ’13, recently published a new book and took part in an exhibition. The book, Borders and Bonds: Art as a Mediator, published by SUMO Project, explores “the contributions of art in the public realm and communal engagement, as a tool to build trust, capacity, and enhance social cohesion and bonding to effectively respond to current urban challenges.” The exhibition, Roots, which opened at Open Studio’s Project Space, “is a body of work that delves into material-driven processes and alternative material expressions, engaging in a dialogue between screen printing and weaving, centered on the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, embracing life’s transient and imperfect nature.”

Cover by Nicole Rifkin ’14, The New Yorker © Condé Nast, October 9, 2023

HIGHLIGHT: Nicole Rifkin and Alexander Heir

Nicole Rifkin, BFA Communications Design (Illustration) ’14, illustrated the cover of the October 9, 2023, issue of The New Yorker, which includes a cameo of a tote bag designed by Alexander Heir, BFA Fine Arts (Printmaking) ’06. In an interview on the occasion of the cover, Rifkin, who spent a decade in Brooklyn, reflects on city life, culture, and a new sense of community upon recently relocating to upstate New York. “I bet you there are thousands of people on the subway every day who are going home or to the studio to create something that might change your life for the better,” she said of the subway-themed cover. More recently, Rifkin also made her directorial debut with the music video for “The Birds Attacked My Hot-Air Balloon” by Pile, which she refers to as a “huge creative leap”: “It’s good to push yourself to do something different, and I always adore working collaboratively; it’s freeing.” (The New Yorker)

Mahogany Browne, MFA Writing ’16, the first poet in residence at Lincoln Center, was included in The New York Times article “How Cave Canem Has Nurtured Generations of Black Poets.” Brown described her time at the Cave Canem poets’ fellowship: “Have you ever felt the spirit move through the room and sit next to you in your chair? That’s what fellowship within Cave Canem’s home feels like.” (The New York Times)

Jonell Joshua, BFA Communications Design (Illustration) ’18, assistant to the chair of
art and design education, is a freelance illustrator releasing her debut illustrated memoir, How Do I Draw These Memories?, in spring 2024. Published by Levine Querido, the book explores Joshua’s upbringing between Savannah and New Jersey, and how her family persevered in times of crisis.

Yongmin Lee, MS Urban Design ’18, recently published New York, City of Memory with the South Korean art book publisher Samtoh Publishers. The book features locations and spaces across New York City, highlighting the multiple styles of architecture that make way for unique lifestyles throughout the city’s history.

Mary Lempres, BFA Fine Arts (Painting) ’18; MID ’23, recently received a winning entry nod for her project Reef Rocket in the Global Design Graduate Show 2023 in collaboration with GUCCI. The project “seeks to decarbonize cement production by employing nature in the manufacturing process while engaging communities most impacted by rising sea levels in fabricating and restoring natural reefs that reduce coastal flooding, promote biodiversity, and filter water.” (Arts Thread)

Jenson Leonard, MFA Writing ’19, recently had his piece Workflow on exhibition at Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh. The show, which ran from September 22 to February 11, explores “the velocity and momentum of Blackness as it relates to the philosophical concept of acceleration.” The work was originally developed and exhibited at Pioneer Works, in Leonard’s first institutional solo exhibition. (Document Journal)


Samuel Herrera, MFA Photography ’20, had a solo photography exhibition, Standing in A Golden Field, at the Pratt Institute Photography Gallery from October 30 through November 17, 2023. (artist’s newsletter) 

An animation of a blue haired person looking into a dark forest.
Hoda Ramy ’21, still from the music video for säje’s “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” courtesy of the artist

Hoda Ramy, MFA Digital Arts ’21, animated and directed the music video for vocal quartet säje’s rendition of “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” Forbes premiered the video in November, calling it a “beautiful, trippy, animated video for [säje’s] sublime version” of the song, nominated for a Grammy for best arrangement, instrument and vocals. In an interview with Forbes, säje member Sara Gazarek said finding Ramy was “a stroke of great luck,” noting that as an artist, “she’s always thinking of symbolism. . . . It’s that way with our music as well. So it just felt like a really good unification because the value systems are the same.” (Forbes)

Charlotte Böhning ’23 with the Gutsy port. Photo courtesy of the James Dyson Award

HIGHLIGHT: Charlotte Böhning

Charlotte Böhning, MID ’23, was selected as the national winner of the US James Dyson Award for her project Gutsy port, a secure custom-fit port for people who have undergone an ostomy that can be worn over the stoma and provides the ability to regulate waste flow for extended periods. After wearing an ostomy bag herself, Böhning experienced the limitations of the existing design firsthand. She facilitated extensive interviews with ostomates around the world, from Wales to Scotland, and conducted ethnographic research, ephemera collection, immersive bodystorming, and interactive prototyping. Böhning’s partnership with Dr. Alessio Pagazzi, the chief of colorectal surgery at New York-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical Center, helped her conceptualize ostomy products as personalized prosthetics rather than accessories. “I would visit the hospital with my prototypes, and Dr. Pagazzi would pore over them giving his expertise,” Böhning noted in an interview with Dyson about her project. “It was through that relationship that I realized the Gutsy port could have a global impact in people’s lives. . . . My mission as a designer is to improve the lives of people and to help the planet in the process.” The Gutsy was also a top 20 finalist in the international stage of the James Dyson Award. (

Palm trees on a sunny beach composed of small colored circles speckled with black ‘X’s; text on bottom left-hand corner reads, “Base photo courtesy of Daniel Öberg on Unsplash”
Carol Choi ’23, Jessika Davis ’23, Ava Kaplan ’23, Lubov McKone ’23, from “Making the Desert Island Discs Dataset: Data Visceralization and How We Don’t Know What We Know,” base photo by Daniel Öberg on Unsplash, courtesy of Pratt Institute School of Information

Carol Choi, MSLIS ’23; Jessika Davis, MSMDC ’23; Ava Kaplan, MSLIS ’23; and Lubov McKone, MSLIS ’23, presented “Making the Desert Island Discs Dataset: Data Visceralization and How We Don’t Know What We Know” at the Digital Library Federation (DLF) 2023 Forum, which took place from November 12 to 16 in St. Louis, Missouri. (School of Information newsletter)

Jamie Oh, MPS Arts and Cultural Management ’23, recently had her work exhibited as a member of the Wellcome Collective, a newly launched arts collective based in New York City and Seoul. The collective’s debut art exhibition, Sarang: Conversation on Love, showed in Koreatown in November 2023. Oh describes the exhibition as a “celebration of the Korean community in New York as well as an exchange of arts and culture.”

Malek Rasmussen, BFA Fashion Design ’24, designer of MalekR., won the 2023 Omaha Fashion Week Featured Designer Golden Shears award, the grand prize from the nation’s fourth largest fashion week. Rasmussen’s winning collection showcased 15 of his Pratt junior thesis looks in the competition, which featured 40 professional independent designers. 

Submission guidelines:

Pratt alumni, we want to know what you’re up to, and so do your fellow graduates. Send your updates on work and life to Notes may be up to 100 words in length. Please include your full name, degree or program, and graduation year. Submissions will be edited for length, clarity, and style. Image submissions should be high resolution (300 dpi at 5 x 7 inches).